Amiga Hardrive backup via WinUAE.

So I’ve been happily using a 2GB SD card inside my Amiga 1200 for a while now but I’m finding that I need a little bit more storage than this card will provide so I’ve opted to swap this out with a 4gb card. However, my Amiga won’t detect SD cards that are of the SD SDHC type (which most SD cards over 2gb usually are these days). I’ve been struggling to find a 4gb non SDHC type card and  it seems that the best option  is to ditch SD cards altogether and go for CF cards instead. Cheap IDE to CF adaptors are abundant on eBay and  brought one a few days ago.

My new Amiga harddrive. Interestingly this adaptor has another set of pins for a second CF card underneath. I wonder if my Amiga would detect two CF’s?…must check that out one day.

IMG_4391 (Custom)

Using WinUAE, I’ve mounted the CF card as a harddrive, formatted it and have installed Workbench 3.1. I much prefer to do  this in WinUAE as with emulation speed can be increased, therefore I  can get this bit done much quicker than as if done on the real Amiga. (see previous blog post – -sd-hdd-with-winuae/ )

Now that my 2GB SD card is redundant, I’ll be reformatting it again under Windows and use it for another device…maybe a specific project build for my Raspberry Pi? However, before I do that, I’d spent quite a lot of time  installing all of the Amiga software onto this particular card,  it also contains my user data and is set up just the way I like it and so it would be a shame to simply trash it.. So…what I’m wondering is, is if I can create a backup copy of my SD card (maybe to burned on to DVD for archive), test boot the backup with WinUAE and then finally restore the backup onto another 2GB SD card and see if it will boot on my real Amiga. I’ve read that it can be done but all the instructions I’ve found so far seem to be a bit vague soIi thought I’d see how far I could get myself…besides, it’s fun!

Ok, so for the time being, I won’t be needing my SD card connected to my Amiga, so I’ve now swapped this with my IDE – CF.

IMG_4394 (Custom)


Using my netbook with WinUAE installed, I insert the SD card in my card reader. I’m running Windows 7 on my netbook and as the SD card is formatted as an Amiga drive, Windows won’t ‘see’ it and will ask if I want to format it. No thank you very much…not yet!

Using WinUAE, I’ve mounted my SD card as an Amiga HDD and started the emulator as a quick test to ensure the drive is visible and will boot into Workbench.  All  looking good, so back into WinUAE properties by hitting F12 and I’ve created a Hardfile (basically a folder on your PC that WinUAE will use as a virtual Harddrive) which is slightly larger than my 2GB SD card. Make sure when creating a Hardfile to tick the ‘read/write’ checkbox.

Highlighted Blue is my new 2GB backup Hardfile and in Red is my physical SD card.

WinUAE settings

Start the emulator and I now should have two hard drives. I’ve renamed the backup drive as ‘backup’ and formatted in the usual manner with Workbench.


Now all I need to do is drag/drop files from my SD HDD to my Backup drive. Make sure to change the Windows view mode to ‘all files’ so that any hidden files are visible should you need to copy these over. As mine  contains Workbench, I’ve copied all of the Workbench and Workbench hidden files over to my Backup HDD.


I’ve also copied over a test game and a test utility program so let’s see if it’s going to work!

Going back into WinUAE properties (F12) I’ve removed/unmounted my SD Card HDD and restarted the emulator. This time, WinUAE should boot from the  Back up Hardfile and if I’ve not buggered up the transfer of Workbench, it should boot 🙂

Cool, it booted and there’s my backup HDD.


Lets see if the some data is there. Sweet!


Running the test app – SysInfo



Running a test game.



I’m quite pleased with how that went so far and it all seems quite straight forward. I’ve kept things very basic though and I’ll be looking at transferring multiple disk partitions later on.  The next part is to reverse the process and see if I can copy all of the data from my backup hardfile onto another SD Card and see if it will boot from  both  WinUAE and then on the real Gaming  Sady I’ve run out of time to do that today so will carry on over the weekend.


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